This month the TK Park Contemporary World Film Series returns with a special screening of the film Donaire y Esplendor (Grace & Splendour). The 2017 film, directed by Arturo Montenegro, is from Panama, and this marks the first time a film from that country has been officially shown in Bangkok. The lively and romantic comedy gives nods to both Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story as it tells the tale of star-crossed lovers from rival street gangs—set against the backdrop of a grand carnival in the small town of Las Tablas. The film is supported by the Embassy of Panama, who will provide drinks and snacks afterwards, and the Ambassador of Panama, HE Maria Del Carmen Martinez Arosemena, will introduce the film. The Thailand Knowledge (TK) Park is located on the 8th floor of CentralWorld (999/9 Rama 1 Rd), the screenings begin at 4pm, and tickets are only B20 each.
Meanwhile, over at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand (518/5 Ploenchit Rd, Maneeya Center, Penthouse), there are four special film screenings this month which are part of the ongoing Monday night FCCT documentary series. All films are shown with Thai subtitles, and a discussion follows each screening. The films begin at 7pm, and admission is free for members (B150 for non-members). There’s also an optional buffet for B250.
The series begins on April 2nd with Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (2016). This bio-doc recounts the struggles of Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive, short-sighted development projects. Her biggest battle eventually saved historic New York City neighbourhoods during the ruthless redevelopment era of urban planner Robert Moses in the 1960s. Hers is a true David and Goliath tale.
The series continues on April 9th with Landfill Harmonic (2015), in which music director Favio Chavez guides the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage. It’s a beautiful story about the transformative power of music, which also highlights two vital issues of our times—poverty and waste pollution.
The FCCT will be closed on Monday, April 16, but the series resumes on April 23rd with the 2016 Thai film Mon Rot Fai (Railway Sleepers). Directed by Sompot Chidgasornpongse the film is described as a contemplative study of Thailand’s rail system.
Finally, the series concludes on April 30th with Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), a documentary exploring the fall of the Enron Corporation, arguably the most shocking example of modern corporate corruption. As we watch these schemers resort to all kinds of underhanded dealings in order to make money at any cost and keep their high-paying jobs, it’s hard to believe that so little has changed in the 13 years since this hubristic study of irresponsible corporate greed was released.
By Bruce Scott